The Gender and Policy Specialization will guide students in developing their understanding of the historic and present role of women in politics, policy, and the labor market. Students will gain knowledge of gender differences in outcomes and their sources, will learn how challenges differ around the world and over the life course, and will be exposed to policy solutions as well as policy failures.

Students who complete this specialization will be able to:

  • Understand how present gender differences are shaped by historical norms and beliefs. 
  • Articulate and identify both the limits of public policy and the potential of policy to affect gender differences in the workplace and beyond.
  • Digest academic work on the impact of policy and discern whether interventions were effective or not, as well as hypothesize on potential unstudied consequences.

Application Process

The specialization is open to Harris Public Policy graduate students only. Please indicate your intent to pursue this specialization using the Harris Specialization Declaration Form.

For specialization registration questions, please reach out to

Planning for the Specialization

For information on which quarter(s) each course will be offered, see the Harris Courses page and filter by specialization. For courses offered by other divisions, the typical quarter(s) offered has been indicated.

Specialization Requirements

Students will be free to choose four courses from the list below to complete the specialization. Students may replace up to two of these four courses with an unlisted elective of their choice from the GNSE department, with the approval of the faculty director of the specialization. Students must achieve at least a B- grade in each course, and there is no pass/fail option. The courses do not need to be taken in a particular order. Students should complete the formal signup process to indicate their intention to pursue the specialization.

Specialization Contact

Yana Gallen, Specialization Director


Assistant Professor

Yana Gallen

Yana Gallen is an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.